Book Review : Taking Care of Carers

Book Review : Taking Care of Carers

by Jim James

‘Taking Care of People with Dementia’ by J E Hardacre is a must read for anyone involved in the day-to-day reality of dementia care.

The book is chock full of insightful anecdotes and reflective stories. The chaptered format contains useful A-Z lists of essential hints and tips, assisting in the daily essentials and planning needs for the future. Discover a wealth of support for carers, amongst many of the topics covered are:

Help with realisation that a close member of family requires compassionate care and attention with practical support. Being aware of the myriad of early warning signs of dementia and case-by-case scenarios, and guidance on early stages and specialist intervention, covering GP assessments, community psychiatric nurses and social workers.

Advice about care packages that are available, such as arrangements between carer and support team; individual needs such as respite care, holidays etc. Dealing with the whole person/loss – assessing and dealing with loss of bodily functions, and physical health, with choices of suitable diets, personal care and hygiene. How to handle dementia behaviours; such as calling out, sundowning and aggression.

The importance of relationships and the need for stimulating visits and advice about the emotions the carer may experience including grief and guilt and suitable care support to handle periods of depression or anxious feelings.

The book also covers the practicalities – lists of everyday helps such as clothing, money or personal hygiene, to caring at home, in hospital and choosing a care home. Guidance about end stage and terminology are also covered which include time management and legal negotiations.

The fact is carers provide essential care and they deserve to be acknowledged and encouraged in their roles and be given the best tools to succeed. Together with the various support networks, they can provide rewarding empathic care. This book certainly points us in the right direction.